Only one more week (...ish)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Only one more week until my due date! Hopefully this last week (or so) will be less eventful than the past two! Turns out this baby is a bit of a drama queen.

You see, when I went in for my 36 week check-up, baby was behaving nicely. She was head-down and I was feeling pretty good, at least as far as being 9 months pregnant goes.

Then a few mornings later, I woke up having slept through the ENTIRE NIGHT. Instead of being glad, I panicked -- I hadn't slept through the night since last summer! Fortunately, baby was kicking and punching as much as ever, so I calmed down but was perplexed over the next few nights as to why I didn't have to pee all night...and why my ribs hurt so much more than normal.

Well. Went to my 37 week appointment, and guess who turned herself into a breech position?? My ribs were killing me because her naughty little head was up in them. The doctor said that not having to pee is the hallmark of a breech baby, so I am confident I know just when she did her naughty summersault. So after discussing the options (there weren't many: schedule a cesarian, hope the baby turned on her own, or try to turn her with an ECV), we went ahead and scheduled the version (ECV) for a few days later, and I went home and proceeded to spend the next few days in tears because I really don't want a c-section and because I made the mistake of googling ECVs and read a thousand horror stories about them.

ECV day finally rolled around. I would have been a bit of a wreck anyway because I was super nervous, but not being allowed to eat or drink anything since the night before made me feel 100 times worse. Nonetheless, I got all checked in and an ultrasound confirmed that she was still in a frank breech position. They did a quick scan to check her growth and lung function while they were at it in case an emergency c-section became necessary. She looked healthy and well-developed, but they discovered while looking around that my amniotic fluid was low. Not dangerously low, but low -- the normal range is 6 to 25 cm, and I had 8cm. This wasn't a problem for baby's health, but they informed me that it significantly reduced the chances of success for the procedure, increased the risks of the procedure, and would probably make the procedure more painful for me -- if the doctor even agreed to go through with the procedure with my fluid that low.

No food, no water, and fluorescent hospital lights = a very unflattering picture.

Next step was a non-stress test, which just means that I laid on a bed for an hour hooked up to monitors that measured her heartbeat and my contractions while Paul said helpful things like, "Here comes another contraction!" and I complained about being thirsty.

Baby thought it was fun to kick the monitors off or swim away from them.

When the doctor finally came in, she said that she was worried about hurting me and said that she thought the chance of success was only about 30%. We were given the option of just going home, but I figured I had come that far so we agreed that she would try it, but very conservatively -- at the first sign of baby distress, we would stop and not try again. So we went forward.

My poor bored husband took to organizing the supplies in the room.

The next step was a shot of terbutaline, which essentially feels like drinking 1,000 cups of coffee all at once but somehow manages to totally relax the uterus and stop contractions. My resting heartrate was well over 100 for the next 6 hours or so, which was kind of awful, but it did make my belly nice and soft and didn't seem to do much to baby's heartrate. So with the nurse holding the ultrasound probe on my belly the whole time, the doctor hopped up on the bed. She straddled me and told me to close my eyes, relax, and go to my happy place.

And then 60 seconds later, it was all over. The baby was head down, it didn't hurt at all, and there were no signs of fetal distress. In fact, it felt like she was throwing a party, kicking and wiggling and dancing in there. All the stories about the awful pain, the failures, the women needing epidurals, ruptured uteruses and torn placentas, emergency cesarians .... nada. It was fast, easy, and almost painless.  Granted, all I had to do was lie there and not tense up, but it was really fast and easy. The worst thing I can say about it is that it was hard to breathe during the procedure and my pelvis was a bit sore afterward, but really it was a breeze. Nothing like what I had read about.

I was told I could eat and drink within 10 minutes as long as baby continued to not show any signs of distress, and before I knew it, I was given a big glass of water and a hospital "breakfast box." I ended up at the hospital for another 3 hours, because she was throwing such a party in there that they couldn't get a baseline reading of her heartrate. The nurse explained that they needed her heart rate to stay the same for 10 minutes, but she was so wiggly it took us the full 3 hours for her to settle down.

Words can't explain how happy and relived I was -- both to get food and have baby in a favorable position! 

Nothing like a bowl of cheerios and a muffin to perk you up. Too bad they don't counter the effects of the fluorescent lights, too.

At my 38 week appointment, she was still in a good position with her head down. The midwife taught me how to feel from the outside what position she is in and told me to teach Paul, too, so that we can monitor her. That way when I go into labor, I'll know if it is ok to stay at home for awhile or if I need to head right to the hospital.

As of today, she is still where she belongs. Now we are just praying that she stays that way and comes out soon! I have an ultrasound in a few days to make sure my amniotic fluid hasn't dropped lower. No one seemed too worried about it being low, considering that it was likely a result of me not having had anything to drink for 9 hours at the time of the ultrasound last week, but we are playing it safe. Hopefully it will be nothing but good news from here on out! Can't wait to meet this little girl!!

Also...did I mention my due date is in a week????? I have a feeling that she will be late, but I definitely hope that I am wrong!

Making room for baby

Monday, February 4, 2013

We realized not too long ago that we needed to start making some room for this baby in our home.  

Our first step was converting the guest bedroom/office into a guest bedroom/nursery. We gave the desk to Goodwill and put the bookshelf into our bedroom to make some space...and then spent the next several weeks just tossing baby gear at random into the room until it looked like a disorganized garage sale.

We finally have everything finished, though. Now we just need a baby to put in there!



My mom made all of the bedding!

Our friends put their swing in their living room a few weeks before their little one was born to get the dogs used to it. I am doing the same thing, but for the benefit of Paul and myself.

She already has more drawers in the bathroom than her dad.

Hospital bag, diaper bag, and carseat are ready to go.

So, technically, I guess we are as ready for this lady as we will ever be! I am 36 weeks today, which means that if she were born today she could probably come right home with us. Crazy to think!


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